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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 3, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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>> i know you have written letters to the senate intelligence committee. the last time we spoke, you denied -- there's been focus on your trip to moscow when you made the speech in the summer of 2016. you've repeatedly denied having any conversations in a lot of interviews about lifting sanctions when you were in moscow. you have denied this many times on this network and others. in an interview in april, you suddenly sound less than definitive. i want to play what you said to george stephanopoulos. >> it sounds like from what you are saying it's possible you may have discussed the easing of sanctions? >> something may have come -- i have no recollection and there's nothing specifically that i would have done that would have given people that impression. >> but you can't say without equivocation that you didn't discuss the easing of sanctions? >> someone may have brought it up. have i have no recollection. if it was, it was not something i was offering or someone was asking for.
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>> it seems a little unclear. it does seem like you are changing your story. you said never one day and maybe another day. did anyone talk to you about sanctions? you were there for three days in moscow. >> anderson, listen, talking about sanctions in russia with economists is like talking about the weather. it's been such a force -- >> a lot of people talk about the weather. are you saying you talked about sanctions? >> i did not talk about changing the weather. let's put it that way. which i think was the prior conversations we have talked about. >> i don't know what that means. in general, in the three days you did have conversations with people du-- you talked to scholars, educators, professors. people talked to you about sanctions? >> i have no recollection, anderson. i would be curious to hear what specific quote was so questionable that i said to you previously. >> i will play a couple for you right now.
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>> was there an offer to help to lift the sanctions you would get something out of it. >> never. if i were offered a prize of many billions of dollars, i would be quite an offer. that was never -- that was never dropped in my lap. >> can you answer that question gentleman? was there a >> no offer? >> anything pertain to russian policy? >> nothing about sanctions. >> you never said that to anybody that you think that if donald trump won he might be willing to get rid of the sanctions against russia? >> no. >> you said nothing about sanctions. >> exactly. about u.s. policy related to it. it's a factor in the russian economy. so i mean, this is kind -- it's splitting hairs. >> trying to get facts. you say you didn't have those
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conversations. but you haven't been really clear on what you did for the rest of the three days other than give a speech. it would be quite understandable that after years of trying to drum up business in russia, a guy suddenly shows up in moscow who has been approached by a russian spy in 2013 as a potential source, suddenly you are in moscow, you are named as a top adviser to the republican nominee. it would be lahard to imagine russians wouldn't talk to you. there may have been conversations? >> anderson, in all instances, i told everyone that i was not there representing the trump campaign. as i think i have explained to you previously. >> but you were clearly invited to give this lecture because your star had risen from your previous experiences in moscow. >> anderson, i have been giving speeches in moscow going back
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over a decade. all the top universities. >> do you ever talk to anyone in the trump campaign about lifting sanctions on russia? you said you send them policy papers. >> i have -- look, anderson, i don't talk about internal discussions or things that may have been confidential internally. >> you talked about sending policy papers. >> i had no specific conversation that i can recall. again, nothing that has anything to do with what was discussed in the hearings today. i think there's -- >> there's a number of statements that -- there's a number of statements that you have made that i'm trying to pin down. you have given seemingly conflicting accounts, the number of interviews you have done. your exact role in the campaign, that's been in doubt. you said in december, long after you were let go by campaign, in a press conference in moscow to russian reporters that you had a number of meetings with donald
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trump. when you and i spoke last you admitted they weren't -- you weren't in any actual meetings with donald trump. you never even met him. the meetings you were talking about to russian reporters were public rallies attended by thousands of voters. it does sound like when you were in moscow talking to reporters that you were playing up your credentials with the campaign. is that fair? >> to the contrary, anderson. at that particular speech that you referenced to the new economic school as well, i was very clear that i was not there representing anyone other than myself. >> but in december, in a press conference at a sputnik institute, you were questioned whether you had been in any meetings with donald trump. you said had you been in my meetings with. >> daymeon: . wh you said what you were talking about is you went to public rallies, i believe, bismarck, north dakota was one of them. so that's -- when you said you were in meetings with donald trump, you were in the rallies that we saw on television that
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we broadcast that tens of thousands of people went to? >> as i explained to you, anderson, some smaller meetings as well. the bottom -- >> what does that mean? there's no -- donald trump has said he has never met you. you say smaller meetings. i know you went to three -- according to the washington post, you went to three dinner meetings for unpaid advisers on national security during the spring and summer of 2016. is that the meetings you are talking about? president trump wasn't there. >> anderson, all i know is that in the interview with senator feinstein with wolf blitzer a couple of hours ago, she was asked specifically, is there any evidence of collusion after her visit out to langley. ten months later, after allegedly having my phones tapped and the fisa warrant based on no probable cause and no real evidence, there's maybe plenty of false evidence, but
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after all that literally -- i was very appreciative that she said in confidential meetings out in langley, nothing has been seen. you know why? because there's nothing there. >> i mean, everybody in the trump campaign basically says you weren't part of the campaign. you never met president trump, though he named you as a nags -- one of five national security advisers. did you meet paul manafort? >> no. never have. >> manafort denied meeting you. you never met jason miller, did you? have you met kellyanne conway? >> the beauty of it is -- >> she's denying meeting you. >> listen, if you look at the statements by president trump on election night, late in the evening, he was talking about this was not a campaign, this is a movement. i was very proud to be part of a movement. >> i'm trying to understand exactly what part of the movement you were.
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you weren't in any meetings with the candidate. you were in public rallies where thousands of people were. i don't think those people could say that they had been in a meeting with donald trump. most people in the campaign are denying kind of knowing you. i'm just trying to get -- you won't say who brought you into the campaign. you won't say what the topic of policy papers, which you have said you actually sent are. so it's not clear to me exactly how real you were a part of this campaign other than how you portrayed yourself when you were in moscow. >> i think as i have explained to a number of people, anderson, i was not a substantial part of the campaign. i have been very up front about that. the beauty -- >> you weren't upfront about that when you were in moscow by saying you were in meetings with the president when that wasn't the case. >> anderson, i am a -- >> the last time -- >> as opposed to someone trying
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to get their two cents in. >> i don't know what that means. >> i listen closely and i studied exactly his policies. i think if you look at some of the -- >> you listened cloe eed closel rallies? >> but i think really understanding what his agenda is and the beauty of it is after four and a half hours of the hearings today going back over sort of these old conspiracy theories and trying to push these issues related to -- sglt ve . >> the investigations is still going on. the last time we spoke, you told me you barely spoke to the russian ambassador to the u.s. i want to play what you said. you didn't speak to the russian ambassador for more than ten seconds. >> never more than -- i don't want to talk specifics. i can assure you, i have never
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spoken with the ambassador more than ten seconds. that's a safe statement. >> then about a month later, in an interview with chris cuomo, you said you had a more substantial meeting with the russian ambassador. >> several of the prior discussions, for example, with anderson cooper and others, is the constant questions regarding did i ever meet the ambassador. i had a -- i said a brief hello to him in cleveland and maybe a few passing comments, never lasting more than just a few seconds. it's interesting. the reason why i didn't -- wasn't more forthcoming about that with anderson about a month and a half ago is i never -- it was a confidential meeting. everyone that was in that meeting agreed they would keep the conversations confidential. i was respecting that. so the reason why i can talk about it now is the kremlin
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spokesperson has said that, yes, there were various interactions between the supporters of the trump campaign as well as the clinton campaign. >> were you not telling the truth initially when you said you met with him for ten seconds? >> anderson, you just said i was alluded to something more substantial. didn't i just say to chris last week that it was just a few seconds? i don't see any inconsistency. >> you said there were more meetings. i can get the transcript. >> i said it was a passing hello. >> you said there were further meetings. you said that there were discussions or interactions between the supporters of the trump campaign as well as the clinton campaign. >> interactions, that's a few passing -- there's nothing, anderson. >> there were not various
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interactions? there were discussions. there weren't significant discussions? >> nothing significant. nothing significant. as senator feinstein alluded to after her visit to langley. >> carter page, i appreciate you coming on. thanks very much. we will get reaction from our panel next. the breaking news on capitol hill tonight. house republicans say they will hold a vote on the gop health care bill tomorrow. they are confident it will pass. details ahead. experience the first-ever 471-horsepower lexus lc 500 or the multistage hybrid lc 500h. experience amazing.
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welcome back.
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live from washington tonight. i spoke with former trump adviser of sorts carter page whose name came up with the tomorrow comey hearing today which raised a lot of questions. jim, i'm not sure why carter page continues to speak publically. i don't know he does himself a lot of favors doing it. a lot of his statements are inconsistent over time. the bottom line is the investigations are ongoing. >> no question. there's an open question as to how significant a character carter page in this story. he clearly was trying to present himself, it seems, in russia as a significant player. it doesn't appear that there's a lot of evidence to back that up. that said, the trump campaign at the time was a pretty threadbare operation. no question how close they were to the candidate himself. in terms of what the fbi is looking into today -- you heard this from comey. it's an active part of an fbi investigation. was there collusion between
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trump associates, whoever they are, including folks like carter page and the russians. they are looking into that. they don't have an answer. he confirmed they are looking. >> when you actually start scratching away at the record of carter page and you talk to him as we have now, even if he did not have a real role in the trump campaign -- it seeps cls s trump campaign -- it seeps clee donald trump named him at a time when he needed to name national security folks. a lot of the establishment wasn't embracing him at this point. they got carter page's name. donald trump never met with him. he was never paid. gradually, he was basically let go and now they're denying he was part of the campaign to begin with. does that even matter in terms of whether russia might have seen him as somebody to approach? >> i don't think it does matter. he is missing a key point here when he says there's no cause for people to follow me, including to get a warrant. a judge isn't signing that if
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he's some peripheral player who spoke to a russian professor at some point. a judge is going to look at that and say that's the most intrusive technique we have, listen to somebody's phone or e-mail. i need something more than a little smoke and mirrors. to your point of significance, there's a difference between somebody who is a recruit in an intelligence service and somebody who is an access agent. access agent in my world is somebody who can -- who might be -- they might be a phone clerk. incredibly valuable in my world, because they can say, i can route you to the calls of the head of the intelligence service. he might be the equivalent of somebody getting 12k a year. he can provide access. the access from carter page is really important. he might understand the die na e e indynamics of the campaign. down to basic questions. where do they meet? where do they have coffee? a russian is behind them and says, how is your day going? in terms of an access agent, which he could have been, really
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important. >> he didn't have any access. but co-hahe could have portraye himself as somebody who did have access. somebody who said, you know, you ought to pay me. i'm in moscow all the time. i'm on this advisory board for donald trump. i met him. they may have thought, well, you know, this is a guy we have to look at who can provide access, even though he didn't have any. >> the russian spies talking about him in not the most glowing terms. >> in 2013, a russian spy called him an idiot. >> that doesn't mean he would et have access. >> he has a history. they have had dealings with him. he doesn't seem to care. >> will not say a negative word about vladimir putin or russia's international stance or human rights record. >> when does he say anything, it's unclear. he is one of a group of people, you ask simple questions like how did you get involved with
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the campaign? i shouldn't say. i can tell you everybody who helped get me a job in my career. it's not a secret. i don't get why these are secret. it adds up to lots of unanswered questions. >> or that notion of, well, i met the russian ambassador for ten seconds at the republican national convention, but it was a confidential meeting. if it's a ten second hello, i'm not sure how that it's a confidential meeting. >> it depends how you want to portray yourself. if you want to portray yourself to the trump folks, you will say i have all these great connections and i know a lot about russian politics. if you want to portray yourself as someone in the know to the russians. i know all the trump people. i'm -- that may have been game he was playing. i have absolutely no idea. as phil says, if he is being wiretapped, if there was a warrant, there's a reason. it doesn't happen and it doesn't given out willy-nilly. there has to be a reason. >> or suspicion.
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>> a suspicion. a reason to have a suspicion. >> you have done some extensive reporting on carter page and his ties to russia. what stood out to you? >> i mean, his complete evasiveness is what stands out. his unwillingness to say i was in russia and -- he doesn't know who he is meeting with there at best. best case scenario. there are people in the crowd who may be connected to russian intelligence. he doesn't seem willing to acknowledge that. this -- i give a lot of speeches in russia. why would they be interested in me? things that don't add up. you have to be -- why are you telling us this? what you are saying is two plus two equals 28. that alone makes it -- >> is he somebody -- from everything i have researched on him, it doesn't seem as if his business dealings are so extensive or high level. merrill lynch where he worked, his former boss there says he exaggerated at another company
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worked, a former president of the company he lasted for three months. he's not clear to me how much business he actually generates in russia. he wants to. but i'm not sure -- >> i'm not sure he generates any significant business there. he seems like a gadfly. we don't really know what he does. >> the president did cite him as a senior adviser at one point in the campaign. >> thanks to everybody. latest on the breaking news on capitol hill. house republican leaders say that they have enough support to pass the gop healthcare bill. will hold a vote tomorrow. breaking news ahead. is to always keep track of your employees.r micromanage them. make sure they're producing. woo! employee of the month! you really shouldn't leave their side. vita coco coconut water, hydration comes naturally.
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the fate of the bill has been in flux. one of the major sticking points protections for people with pre-existing conditions. an 11th hour amendment was aimed at that. how did we get here? >> $8 billion. that's what turned from yesterday was a standstill, a roadblock, to where we are now. they are planning to hold the vote tomorrow. the $8 billion coming in the form of an amendment to address the concerns, pre-existing conditions, how the price protections related to pre-existing conditions that exist in obamacare would actually be addressed if states decide to opt out of the protections all together. $8 billion was the agreement from two no votes previously that they reached with the white house. that at least according to house republican leaders has them close enough to take this to the floor. this is how kevin mccasurthy pu it. >> we're going to pass it. let's be optimistic. did you read the story of the healthcare pulling out of iowa?
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we have 94 counties out of 99 that do not have healthcare. that's why we have to make sure this passes to save those people from obamacare that continues to collapse. >> do you have 216 votes? >> we will pass this bill. i feel great. >> anderson, it's worth noting house republican leaders said the first time around they thought they had the votes and they were planning to take this bill to the floor. they scheduled the vote and ended up having to pull it. it's worth noting house republican leaders have been very clear both to us and to the white house behind closed doors, they will not put this on the floor until they believe they are there, until they have the 216 votes. i'm told that even tonight, this is still on a razor's edge. this is as close as it can get. paul ryan has made the calculation it's time to go. >> why isn't this bill being scored? >> they're goi ining to the flo
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without an updated cbo score to detail the changes that have been made over the course of the last couple of weeks. that first score related to the initial iteration was devastating. 24 million people would be without insurance or lose insurance over ten years. we don't have an update on what that number would be under this plan. we don't have an update on what the deficit savings would be flr th under this plan. that used to be a deal killer. that's a huge political liability to vote on this without a score. the amendment text that got them there just came out about an hour ago. a lot of members are just starting to get their heads around what this would actually do. the vote will still happen tomorrow. what i'm told essentially from several members over the course of the last couple hours is, essentially this, it's time to move on. they have done this enough. they recognize that it's clogging up the rest of the legislative agenda. they recognize this is a politically difficult vote. they recognize this is something they have campaigned on repeatedly. it's very likely, almost certain the senate will change this in
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some way, shape or form. they just need to do something. despite all of the big problems that might actually come with this vote, they have decided it's time to move forward, anderson. >> phil mattingly, thanks very much. president trump has been all in on the effort to lock down votes for the gop health care bill. he made calls. jason carroll is at white house. joins us now. what is the white house saying about the vote tomorrow? >> the white house is feeling optimistic. at least at this point much the president and the vice-president making a lot of calls on this. the real turning point at least symbolically or otherwise seems to really rest on the conversation that the president had with two people, fred upton and billy long. these two representatives were no votes. real no votes until the president was able to have a meeting with them. they were able to talk, talk about this $8 billion amendment to help cover people with pre-existing conditions. that was in some ways and to many people a real turning
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point. anderson, the president's supporters say if this goes through, the president really deserves a lot of credit on this one. the administration saying the president today, all week, all night has been doing what he does best, and that's negotiate. >> the president talked about this in the beginning, that he wants to work with members to make it the strongest possible bill to have the strongest outcome for the american people in a health care system in which the costs continue to go down. i think that's one point that we keep forgetting in this discussion. with what we're trying to do, it's not just replace obamacare. obamacare is dieing on the vine. >> anderson, when it comes to obamacare, you remember that that administration was criticized for rushing through health care reform. this administration is being basically criticized for the same thing. you heard phil talking about it there a little while ago. some questions why the congressional budget office didn't get a chance to look at
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this revised bill and be able to sort of weigh in with any sort of red flags. that did not happen this go around. it was very clear this is something that the white house really wanted to move on. >> jason carroll, appreciate it from the white house. joining me davis the panel. it's amazing that there is no congressional budget office score. in the past, that was a big deal for all sides. would there be one as the senate starts to look at this? >> i condition maan't imagine t be. i'm old enough to remember a republican led house becoming a republican led house with promised to read a bill for three days, never mind a cbo score. meaning, they ran on the notion that democrats push things through too fast. that's exactly what they're doing. republicans argue -- they are right about this -- this is not the gazillion bill.
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at the same time, they're going in blind. they just are. there was a score on the original bill, which did say that 24 million people who had coverage -- additional coverage because of obamacare would lose that coverage. we don't know if that number is different or not. they're going to kind of take the plunge. >> that's a large part what have did it in last time. if you were being cynical here -- far be it for me to be cynical. you would say that there is some incentive to get this done before you get the score. of course, this includes the medicaid rollback, which is one of the reasons the mm millions people were losing coverage under the original score. also, we don't know what this will cost. maybe there's a reason that they want to do this now.
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>> this is -- this isn't a highway spending bill or infrastructure bill. this is talking about something that literally means life and death to a lot of americans. this is that serious of an issue. i think the way they handled it is important. the fact we know so little about it, frankly. it makes it that much more troubling that the $8 billion won't begin to cover pre-existing conditions, especially if more states decide that they're going to set up these pools just because the incentive of getting the money will make them want to do that. it's not going to cover it. it expires after five years. what happens then? they are taking away a fundamental protection that's important. it's a matter of life or death. >> the bill would need 51 to pass in the senate because it's part of the reconciliation process, right? >> right. but there's still going to be a lot of different political cross currents in the senate when they take a look at the ramifications of covering fewer people.
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at the end of this process, there are going to be fewer people who have health care insurance in the country. conservatives say that's a good thing because if you have the federal government to get people covers, it causes premiums to go up. i don't know that we have in washington a good enough understanding of what's worked and what hasn't worked about obamacare to leap into this new area where fewer people are covered. it creates policy problems. i think real political problems down the road. conservatives more moderates who were balking at this didn't want to be responsible for leaving out the most vulnerable. we don't know whether this fix is enough to really deal with people who have pre-existing conditions. that's why it's been so hard to get agreement. we should remember, obamacare was passed on a party line vote. no republicans. this is the mirror image of that on the republican side. that's not good for our healthcahealth care system. >> all the lobbying groups, ama, cancer society, american heart
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association, not to mention the aarp, they have come out against this. even with the fix. that's another thing you don't want to sink in to much before members go home to their constitue constituents. the push to get this done is not in the interest of good legislating. it's actually in the interest of getting something on the record so they can have a win and also get something to the senate. >> thank everybody. as we have been reporting, james comey feels mildly na lll nauseous he could have affected the presidential election. we will hear from a senator who grilled him. that's next. [team member] so, how can i help you? [customer] have you ever walked into the paint store feeling like you should really know more than you know? satin versus semi-gloss, and...i don't know! [team member] yes...i know the feeling. [customer] that's how i feel right now about all the financing options for this project i'm doing. i feel like i should know more than i know. [team member] don't sweat it. we have this new tool--my credit options guide-- that gives you a customized comparison like this,
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welcome back to 360. we're live from washington where james comey said he stands by the decision. he said it does make him feel mildly nauseous to think he may have affected the election. it was the right decision at the time. senators grilled the director
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about why he talked about the clinton investigation but not one that was going on, looking into whether donald trump's associates included with russia. >> you chose to make comments about one investigation and not the other. investigation into the trump campaign and investigation ongoing into second clinton. i'm concerned about what the future practice will be. how has the approach taken with regard to the clinton investigation been memorialized? and have you modified in any way fbi or department procedures regarding disclosure of information concerning investigations, particularly close to an election? >> we have not. the reason is that everything we did, that i did was in my view consistent with existing department justice department. we don't confirm the existence of investigations except in unusual circumstances. we don't talk about closed -- we don't talk about investigations that don't result in criminal charges unless there's a
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compelling public interest. that should govern. we also, whenever humanly possible avoid any action that might have an impact on an election. >> i spoke with senator coons earlier today. senator, were you satisfied with what director comey told you why he weighed in on the clinton investigation but not the trump investigation before the election? >> i was not. director comey articulated the principals he followed in deciding he was compelled to speak out publically about a renewed investigation into secretary clinton's e-mails. he said it was unusual circumstances. it was of compelling public interest. and those two things in combination made him override long standing fbi policy to not speak out publically in a way that might influence an election. in fact, anderson, there were two presidential candidates under investigation by the fbi at the time. both donald trump and hillary clinton. i suggested to director comey that the right thing to do would have been to comment on both
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investigations or neither. >> the director's argument is the two investigations were apples and oranges. clinton investigation had been ongoing. he had said that it was concluded and that he would update congress if anything more developed. the trump investigation was only a few months old. that factored into his decision. you don't accept that? >> that was his response to me. he commented in response to my question that they only publically notified about that clinton investigation when it was three months under way. by his account, the trump investigation was at that point three months under way. i do think that he should have taken closer account of the impact it would have on the election and should have neither commented on clinton nor trump. >> when he said that had he not commented on the clinton investigation, it could have destroyed the fbi, do you think that is possible? >> i think he really overstates the risk to the fbi of his not
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commenting. particularly given that the clinton e-mails had been thoroughly and fully investigated. fbi investigators concluded there was no grounds for a charge. he could have said that i am abiding by longstanding fbi policy and declined to comment this close to an election. i think he would have been well regarded for doing so. >> it was interesting to hear comey tell you that he offered to publically speak out on the russia investigation as far back as august. he said the obama administration failed to take him up on that. do you believe the obama administration missed an opportunity? >> i didn't hear that before. i was struck that fbi director comey said in response to questions from several senators that the russians continue to interfere in politics in the united states and in europe, in particular in france and germany where they have upcoming elections and that director comey expects the russians to try to interfere again in our
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2018 and 2020 elections. >> i'm curious what you think about president trump tweeting that director comey gave hillary clinton what he called a free pass for many bad deeds. how do you square that with sean spicer today saying that mr. comey has the president's confidence? >> i frankly think president trump would be better served by putting the phone down and stopping his midnight tweets. he has very difficult issues to confront. he met with the head of the palestinian authority today. we have a very tense situation on the korean peninsula. i'm not sure it's best use of his time to relitigate the 2016 election. >> finally, the word that susan rice is refusing to testify before a judiciary subcommittee when you are on about russia interference in the election. her lawyer said it was because it wasn't a bipartisan invitation. how do you think that's going to go over? >> to be clear, she's following longstanding protocol, which is that witnesses come in response
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to bipartisan invitations. more importantly, there's no evidence that susan rice did anything illegal or inappropriate. i hope that we will have conversations among senators going forward about what unmasking is and isn't. there were questions asked of director comey about this today as well. in the fbi oversight hearing. i don't think there's any compelling evidence that susan rice did anything wrong in the particular incident at issue here. >> you don't think democrats on the committee should take -- join hands with republicans and offer an invitation for her to speak so it's bipartisan? >> i would have to hear a more compelling case made. this is a decision made by the ranking democrat sheldon white dgs hou whitehouse. sg . >> i appreciate your time. just ahead, over lunch today, the president and the palestini
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palestinia palestinians talked. life. intelligent technology can help protect it. the all-new audi q5 is here. so how old do you want uhh, i was thinking around 70. alright, and before that? you mean after that? no, i'm talking before that. do you have things you want to do before you retire? oh yeah sure... ok, like what? but i thought we were supposed to be talking about investing for retirement?
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in another big moment, president trump welcomed mahmoud abbas to the white house.
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president trump promised to broker peace between the u.s. and palestinians saying, quote, we will get this done. later, he said this. >> it's a great honor to have president abbas with us. we'll be having lunch together. we'll be discussing details of what has proven to be a very difficult situation between israel and the palestinians. and let's see if we can find the solution. it's something that i think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years. but we need two willing parties. we believe israel is willing. we believe you're willing. and if you both are willing, we're going to make a deal. >> well, that sounds familiar, it's not the first time president trump has said a complicated issue may be easy to fix. health care, for example. back now with the panel. jason, when you hear the president -- i mean, this is arguably the most difficult, contentious, you know, world issue on the global stage and
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has been for generations? i mean -- >> centuries. of course this is big and of course this is one of the great international diplomacy. but there's a sense of optimism that at least he's bringing these two sides together. finally, after the talks had stalled out, that somebody has brought them together and they are starting the conversation. who knows even if the president will be able to do this during his time in office but he's trying and bringing them to the table. i think you have to give them credit for that. it's not just with this particular conflict, we even see with other air bleeders that are glad that we stood up to assad and we did something about his ability to hit with chemical weapons and kill dozens of his own people. you have to give the president credit here for at least starting the process. >> dana? >> definitely. i mean, he's engaging and that's something and it is important.
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he's likely to fall into some of the same giant areas of quicksand that so many others have in most recent times, look who he is sitting with. he's sitting with abbas who is the best thing that both israel and the president have going now in terms of a negotiating partner. but talk to anybody who knows anything about the palestinian authority and they'll tell you, he doesn't have much juice. so let's just say he gets them to the table. to what end? you know, maybe he can be a strong leader that he hasn't been when using and having other partners both in israel and in the white house in the past but it's hard to imagine that things are going to suddenly change on a dime within the palestinian authority just because president -- >> it's also hard to believe that there's even conditions to begin a peace process and it's actually early in the administration to try that. you see a lot of presidents get into it later in their second term to at least try to have some in print and it's important that they get involved in the process even if it doesn't go
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anywhere. but there's something else you hear from president trump that applies to other situations. he wants to, whether he's meeting with sisi where egypt orda or dangles the prospect of meeting with the north korean leader, he has the opportunity to ink cha the environment, to change the dynamic. and he's not alone. president bush thought he was in the position to charm vladimir putin. it didn't happen the way he had hoped. it sounds as if there wasn't anything called history that happened before he got to office before this political conflict but he's putting his capital out there and -- >> kristen, he's said that jared kushner will play the role of kind of fronting for the white house. obviously you had rex tillerson there as well. oftentimes there are mid-east envoys, george mitchell, famously, for years and years and years. >> yeah. there are usually people who
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have more experience than jared kushner has. that doesn't mean he can't do a good job. this isn't an area where he has a ton of experience. the thing about donald trump that is just interesting is that normally you sort of, you know, underpromise and overdeliver sort of the key to success and he just constantly overpromises and he's done this on so many different things, claiming that so many things are going to be so easy. he's going to build that wall and health care is going to be easy and all of these other things are going to happen and he picks the thing that really is the hardest thing and says i'm going to fix it and, guess what, it's not really even that hard. >> and dennis ross, who worked in the clinton administration on these issues, he said the thing about jared kushner is he has juice and the parties will know that he's close to the president. he doesn't have experience but -- >> why do you think -- i think kirsten's point is an interesting one. as a businessman and doing real estate in new york, it was understandable that donald trump would say, it's going to be the
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best building, most glamorous building, whatever. as president, it's a different thing. but why do you think -- do you think it's inherent in him that he's a marketer, that that's the way it is? he views it as -- >> look, if you are starting the beginning of this relationship, tough make both sides feel good about this process and that's a bit of what he's doing, helping to frame and present it. and the thing, too, is this is an asset that he's bringing up in his presidency for something that too often gets pushed back to one's administration, that he's going in with optimism so both sides feel, you know what, maybe something can happen here. it's a long process. i think it's great that he's diving into it. >> thanks, everybody. we'll be right back. for adults with advanced non-small cell lung cancer,
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everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to thanks for watching. we'll be in d.c. tomorrow night. time to hand things over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts right now. the breaking news, is it the end of obamacare? the house says they have the votes to do it tomorrow. will they or won't they? this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. what the fbi director said and what the former obama official susan rice won't. we have the latest on that. plus, when is a wall not a wall? when it's a